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Sunday, 3 August 2008

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There's an online petition now, organised by Barry Duke of the Freethinker, over that business of the South Wales newspaper that showed a distinct lack of testicular fortitude when it issued an arse-licking apology to Christians who felt peeved after a columnist, Dan O'Neill, had dared to suggest that Jesus's actions as related to us in the Gospels might cause some to question his sexuality.

The columnist, as you can see from this Pink Triangle post of July, was not himself questioning Jesus's sexuality (not that there should be anything wrong in that): he was asking what Stephen Green of Christian Voice – were he not already convinced otherwise – would have made of Jesus had he come across stories of him for the first time.

Just so it gets another airing after the South Wales Echo censored it online, I'll print it again, here:

How would this fanatical Hammerer of Homosexuals [Green], leader of a bunch of annoying bigots [Christian Voice] have interpreted events in Palestine a couple of thousand years ago? This Jesus feller swans around all day with a dozen other blokes. No women. Mark that, no women. And he wanders off into the mountains now and again to spend quality time with his, uh, favourites (Mark.9:2). He picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them (Mark 10:16) And he was seen in a garden when one of his mates came up and kissed him (Matthew,26:48). Suspicious, eh?

Not – let us emphasise again, lest it not get through to those who clearly cannot tell the difference – that the writer of the "offending" column is speculating for himself, but for an imagined version of Stephen Green who might come across Jesus without the baggage of his, Green's, prejudices.

And, for that piece of speculation on what a man in 2008 might think of a Gospel account, O'Neill is censored. As well as links I gave in the linked-to Pink Triangle story above, Ophelia Benson's had a go in the excellent Butterflies and Wheels.

Right, now go and sign that petition.

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